Founder and CEO, Resilience Brokers, Ecological Sequestration Trust, London, UK
Peter Head is a champion of sustainable development. He established the Ecological Sequestration Trust in 2011. He advocates that changing the way we invest public and private money in the built environment could be made very much more effective if the public and private sectors adopt sustainable development principles.
Peter is a civil and structural engineer who has become a recognised world leader in major bridges (he received an OBE for successfully delivering the Second Severn Crossing as Government Agent), advanced composite technology and now in sustainable development in cities and regions. He joined Arup in 2004 to create and lead Arup’s global planning and integrated urbanism team of several hundred, which by 2011 had doubled in size. He directed work on the Dongtan Eco-city planning project, voted by Chinese developers in 2005 as the most influential development project in China.
Peter has been the recipient of many awards for his work including the Award of Merit of IABSE, the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Silver Medal and the Prince Philip Award for Polymers in the Service of Mankind. In 2008 he was named by the Guardian Newspaper as one of 50 people that could “save the planet”’ and in the same year by Time Magazine as one of 30 global eco-heroes.
In July 2008, Bristol University awarded Peter an honorary doctorate in engineering, where he is Visiting Professor in Sustainable Systems Engineering. In 2009 he was awarded the Sir Frank Whittle medal of the Royal Academy of Engineering for a lifetime contribution to the well-being of the nation through environmental innovation. In 2011, Peter was awarded the CBE in the New Year’s Honors List for services to civil engineering and the environment. The same year, he was appointed Visiting Professor in eco-cities at Westminster University. CEMEX awarded Peter its global lifetime achievement award in 2016.
Peter established Resilience Brokers, the Trust’s global delivery programme, in 2017 to mobilize collaboratively through lateral partnerships the “missing middle” of development actors and knowledge partners to provide city-regions around the world the tools and support they need to advance rapid systems transformations for climate-resilient cities through integrated approaches to planning and financing across sectors.
In 2018, UNISDR appointed Peter to its advisory board for the next UN Global Assessment Report (GAR) on Disaster Risk Reduction, to move forward the implementation of the Sendai Framework.